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Title                                                                                                  i

Declaration                                                                                        ii

Certification                                                                                       iii

Dedication                                                                                         iv

Acknowledgement                                                                             v

Table of contents                                                                               vi

List of figures                                                                                     ix

List of tables                                                                                      x

Abstract                                                                                             xi


1.0 Introduction                                                                                  1

1.1 Background of the study                                                               1

1.2 Problems definition                                                                       5

1.3 Objective of the study                                                                  5

1.4 Justification of the project                                                             6

1.5 Scope of the project                                                                      6


2.0 Literature Review                                                                         7

2.1 Description of melon                                                                     7

2.1.1 Size                                                                                           8

2.1.2 Structure                                                                                   9

2.2 Production average per hectare                                                     9

2.3 Varieties of melon                                                                        11

2.4 Importance/uses of melon                                                               12

2.5 Processing of melon                                                                      13

2.6 Properties of melon                                                                       13

2.6.1 Mechanical properties                                                                14

2.6.2 Physical properties of melon                                                       14

2.6.3 Chemical properties of melon                                                     15

2.7 Description of melon Sheller                                                         15

2.8 Types of melon Sheller machine                                                   16

2.8.1 Motorized melon Sheller                                                            17

2.8.2 Manually melon Sheller                                                              17

2.8.3 Internal combustion melon Sheller                                             17


3.0 Methodology                                                                                18

3.1 Material consideration                                                                  19

3.2 Components of shelling machine                                                   19

3.3 Construction procedure                                                                 22

3.3.1 Marking operation                                                                      22

3.3.2 Cutting operation                                                                       22

3.3.3. Welding  operation                                                                    22

3.4 Assembly                                                                                     24

3.5 Test procedure                                                                              27

3.6 Principle of operation                                                                    27

3.7 Operation of the machine                                                              28

3.8 Maintenance                                                                                 29

3.9 Economic consideration                                                                30


4.0 Result and Discussion                                                                   31

4.1 The machine test and evaluation procedure                                    31

4.2 Shelling values for machine operation                                           31

4.3 Discussion                                                                                   32


5.0 Conclusion                                                                                   36

5.1 Recommendations                                                                        36

References                                                                                          37










List of figures

F.g 1: Component parts of the machine                                                         21

F.g 2: Orthographic presentation of the motorized melon Sheller                                 with air separator                                                                                            25

F.g 3: The isometric presentation of the motorized melon Sheller                        with air separator                                                                                            26

F.g 4.1: Bar chart representing numbers of shelled, broken shelled,                            partially seed and unshelled at 400 seed fed.                                                     34

F.g 4.2: Bar chart representing numbers of shelled, broken shelled,                         partially seed and unshelled at 800 seed fed.                                                     35












Table 2: Item of costs and returns for melon                                        10

Table 3.0: Selection of material for construction                                 18

Table 3.1: Operation procedure flow chart                                           24

Table 3.2: Material and cost                                                                29

Table 4:1  Number of shelled and unshelled melon using  400 seeds    31

Table 4.2: Percentage shelled and unshelled melon                              32

Table 4.3 Number of shelled and unshelled melon using  800 seeds     32

Table 4.4 Percentage shelled and unshelled melon                               32












Melon seed is very rich in protein and forms an important ingredient in Nigerian soups and vegetable oil industries. The drudgery involved in the manual shelling of the seed has discouraged the mass production of the crops and this necessitates the development and fabrication of this machine using a rubbing action motion in peeling. The Sheller comprises of hopper, shelling chamber and chamber where chaff is blown off. The shelling chamber comprises of disc and rotor which has flat metal bars welder around the rotor at an angle of 450. This is attached directly to 1 horse power electric motor which drives it in anticlockwise direction to shell the melon seed. The shelled seed and the cotyledon fall directly to the cleaning chamber where installed fan blow away the chaff from the seed. The sheller was constructed from locally available materials and its operation does not require special skills. Test was carried out at speed of 1400rpm. The unshelled melon seeds used were sprinkled with water and partially dried with natural air for 10 minutes. The percentage efficiency of the machine was 87.5% and the cleaning efficiency was 70%. The sheller performed satisfactory and is suitable for domestic and commercial shelling of melon seeds.







1.1 Background of the study

Melon (citrullus valgaris) is one of the most important vegetable crops in the tropical sub-tropical regions of the world melon is widely called “Egusi” by Hausa and “Ogili” by Igbo people of Nigeria. Cultivation of melon is across the country but with higher intensity in Kogi state of Nigeria (Oluwole and Adedeji 2012). There was large increase in land area put to melon production in 2004 and 2005 (Lagoke et al, 1983). Melon is usually grown in mixture with other crops such as cassava, yam and maize which may account for the increase in land area put to its production. The mesocap of the fruit is extremely bitter, but seeds are important source of vitamin E and it is rich in proteins and oils which can be extracted for cooking purposes. A valuable vegetable oil is extracted from the melon seed, while the seed is used to prepare various delicacies including cake and soup (Lagoke et al, 1983). Melon is important for their seeds in Sudan and Ethiopia and the extracted yellow oil in high demand (Olusegun and Adekunle 2008).

Contents of melon seed (Enujuigha and Ayodele, 2003).

Crude protein                  314kg – 1 DM

Crude fats                      439.3kg – 1Dm

Crude fiber                     31.4 -90.6g/kg – 1Dm

Phosphorous                   2.4 – 4.6gkg – 1Dm

Potassium                       3.9 –  6.5gkg – 1DM

Energy                            4.1 – 5.9mcalkg – 1DM

The seeds are small, flat and partly oval in shape containing cotyledons and it is an annual crop. The cotyledons are rich in protein (40%) and edible oil (60%). (Enujuigha and Ayodele, 2003). Oils can be extracted for cooking purposes, the seed can be ground into a powder and used as a soup thickener or flavoring agent (Badifu and Ogunsuna, 1991) and the ground seed is also used to prepare delicacies like cake.

Varieties of melon involve;

  • Cantalupensis group (now includes reticulates)
  • Inodorous group (winter melons)
  • Flexuosus group
  • Dudaim group (mango melon pomegranate melon queen Annes melon)
  • Mormordica group (Phoot and snap melons)
  • Cantaline (orange flesh melon, candy melon)
  • Water melon (citrullus lanatus)

Melon is very important in cancer prevention, stroke and heart disease prevention, melon contains and anticoagulant called “Adenosinc to stop clothing of blood cells which can lead to stroke or heart disease. (www.letsgohealthy, 2014). It helps in healing kidney disease and Eczema; melon has very good diuretic power so that it can help cure kidney disease and severe disease and acute eczema (, 2014). Its ornamentals are used in decoration of houses and public places (Okafor 1984). Melon seed are valuable food and diet product on the number of sugar and vitamins. Its oil is therapeutic and prophylactic agent that preserves its structure in a large number of vitamins. Melon oil is used as preventive measure as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and fat accumulation in the liver. It equally prevents hair loss, a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system providing nonspecific defense. In cosmetics the oil softens and improves the trophism of the skin, is used in cosmetics, in particular to eliminate age spots. It is included on the exclusive luxury cosmetics and ointments. It reduces inflammation and when applied to dry skin removes excess seburn. When applied to dry skin, moisturizes, increases elasticity, due to high content of linoleic acid perfectly restores dry dehydrated, withering skins.

Shelling can be defined as a process by which husk (outer shell) is removed from a seed to expose cotyledon. Shelling can be done both manually (by hand) and mechanically (melon sheller). Manual method is a traditional means of shelling. It does not encourage higher productivity, time consuming and it also consumes more energy. Manual methods are of two types:

  • Picking and shelling
  • Bagging and shelling

This crude method is now being mechanized through introduction of melon sheller. Perfect shelling is obtained by investigating and controlling the properties of the melon seeds which include: hardness, thickness, and seed moisture content. Agricultural mechanization operation is of age and a lot of work has been done to make the operation easier in different post harvest processing. And attempt was made on melon seed shelling by “Makanjuola1972” where the seed were shelled by moving between vanes an a rotating impeller and making impact on a fixed cylindrical ring. Makanjuola studied the bending properties of melon seeds when compressed between two parallel plates under static loading.

Another attempt was made by Adekunle et al, 2009. Using the same principle of impacting but on a stationary abrasive cylinder using this principles a melon. Sheller with relating impeller vanes was designed with the angle of release, machine speed and impact force of 300, 980rpm and 0.36.7N respectively. Only about 17% efficiency was achieved, this is low and need further improvement.

Oladejo, 2010 also working on melon shelling using the principle of seed impacting on a stationary outer drum obtained an efficiency of about 47% using an angle of release machine speed and impact force of 450 1530rpm and 0.537N respectively. The present, work describes the use of a rubbing action motion as opposed to the use of impact force to shell melon seeds. But all these efforts are limited to low output, drudgery, poor efficiency and high cost of maintenance.

This project therefore focuses on the fabrication of melon shelling machine with air separator which is powered by 1HP, 1400rpm electric motor an inner drum rotation speed of 300rpm through the use of a big driven pulley to obtain an appreciable shelling performance. This machine was done in order to meet the domestic, commercial and industrial requirement of melon for food processing, which can be used both in urban and rural area provided there is adequate supply of electricity. s very good diuretic power so that it can help cure kidney disease and severe disease and acute eczema (, 2014). Its ornamentals are used in decoration of houses and public places (Okafor 1984). Melon seed are valuable food and diet product on the number of sugar and vitamins.

1.2. Problem Definition

Traditional method of shelling melon appears to be too slow, time consuming, tedious, inefficient and involve drudgery, thus limiting the availability of the product in the market, which increases the cost of melon. Efficient and effective melon shelling therefore requires a system that will overcome the above problems. Also several shellers have been constructed without incorporation of air separator for separating shelled melon from husk.

1.3 The objective of the study

  • To fabricate a melon shelling machine with air separator.
  • To determine the efficiency of the machine by testing it.
  • To remove drudgery involved with traditional shelling

1.4. Justification of  the Project

Manual shelling machine gives stress when operating. It also uses human energy. Manual sheller is time consuming and does not encourage for commercial purpose.

While motorized Sheller is easy to operate, it is self-propelled (i.e. uses electrical power). If there is power failure, motorized melon Sheller can also shell melon with the help of internal combustion engine. It shell and separate the chaffs from the seed at the same time, thus encouraging commercial purpose.

Hence, motorized melon Sheller is more effective and efficient than manual or traditional method of shelling melon.

1.5. Scope of the Project

This project will be limited to fabrication of motorized operated melon shelling machine with air separator using electric motor for its operation.


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